Comet Lovejoys Long Ion Tail
Taken by Alan Dyer on January 16, 2015 @ City of Rocks State Park, NM
Click photo for larger image
  Camera Used: Canon Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Exposure Time: 120/1
Aperture: f/2.5
ISO: 1600
Date Taken: 2015:01:17 13:28:17
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These images from January 16 show just how marvellous Comet Lovejoys blue ion tail has become, at least to the eye of the camera. It now stretches back at least 15°, perhaps as much as 20° with averted imagination! :) Visually, the tail is easy to trace in binoculars at least 5° to 8°, though only in dark skies. I shot these from the City of Rocks State Park in New Mexico under near-perfect skies. These are stacks of 2-minute tracked exposures. One is with the 24mm lens and includes silhouettes of the rock formations and trees. The other is with a 50mm lens and is turned 90° so the comet is pointing down, perhaps a more natural orientation for casual viewers. However, in that photo north and up in the sky is to the left.
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Congratulations. Simply brilliant. A great image, a great field

Posted by jeanc567 2015-01-17 15:17:45
this is amazing. how many exposures is it?
Posted by etunar 2015-01-17 17:06:31

Beautiful documentation of Comet Lovejoy on your part.

I too have been taking longer tracked and guided time exposures in the past days when our rainy weather in the Northwest allows it here in Portland Oregon. I published a few here in recent days, Timothy Ferris even clicked Like on one of mine in my Facebook! As did Celestron Telescopes FB site. (;

Although I have taken simple star trail images over the years since my teens in the 1960s, eventually landing in Astronomy magazine in the early 1990s, I have now used a Sony NEX5 APSC mirrorless camera light sensor piggy-backed with antique telephoto lenses from my college days, now adapted to the Sony digital camera and tracking with a Celestron Nexstar 5i Cassegrain/Equatorial mount.

I am wondering if you might share what noise stacking procedures you use? Ill also look at your book today.

(*by the way,) Im the guy that wrote you a few years ago when Comet McNaught was in the evening sky from the US in daylight- we compared-exchanged emails about our experience of photographing the Total Solar Eclipse in February 1979. I have those images here with recent Comet Lovejoy- images are in chronology in time and over 300 count (about 100 per 4 large online pages, totaling 300.) >

Thanks again Alan, its always good to see your fine work here in Spaceweather, *and Im going to our local largest bookstore in the US here in Portland Oregon today to grab a copy of your book!

Mark Seibold, retired Artist-Astronomer, Portland Oregon
Posted by markseibold 2015-01-18 16:47:49
70 thumbs up
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